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tv   Strange Inheritance  FOX News  July 12, 2015 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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jamie: a cowboy inherits a baron patch of prairie. >> it is not big enough. >> beneath the soil he finds prehistoric treasure. >> this is one of the most important discoveries of this century. >> this is a job -- will this cow poke's "strange inheritance" lead him to a boom or bust? >> lightning does not strike in the same place very often, maybe never.
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jamie: i am jamie colby, today i am in bad lands of eastern montana. it is rugged, big sky, cattle ranking country. on my way to meet a life longs resense whose father left him a chunk of this land. >> i am clayto phipps. my father passed away and my father left me the ranch, with it came a few surprises. jamie: he is like a character from lonesome dove. >> most of the time, i am on my own, i am happy that way, this ranch has been in the family since my grandfather homesteaded
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here. a part of me i did not want to part with. >> clayton grew up and learned to cowboy here on the ranch his father shared with three brothers, describes it as cash-poor but reasonably successful. >> mid did worked us hard -- my dad worked us hard but that was a good thing. jamie: the ranch is flit up, at age 24, clayton inherits 1100 acres and 30 cows it may sound like a lot. but to make a decent living these days, he would need 10 times that much land, and about 500 head of cattle, 40 acres for each cow. >> i always tell me, this place isn't big enough. it every cowboy's dream to have their own place. >> we're saddleing up. step on my knee with your right leg.
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jamie: clayton insist i wear a helmet. somebody must have told him i'm a lawyer. i can see why clayton loves being out here, and i learned why he calls ranking a big gamble. >> in wintertime it can be hard with big storms and death loss, you can buy a bull for $10,000, he is break his leg or something, you may not get any return out of him. him. >> for years, clayton worked a second job hoping to make enough money to build up his own herd. he falls in love with lisa land wares. >> my mom said, she could see why i fell for him, my dad said, are you sure you don't want to wait.
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>> my wife is from minnesota, it has been a culture shock for her, it is 120 miles to the nearest movie theaters, old-timers would say that country is hard on horses and women. jamie: in 1998 their first child julie is born, a cowgirl flew through and through. >> another mouth to feed, you know what am i going to do. jamie: ratchets up the pressure on clayton to make the ranch financially viable now. >> a way to buy enough land to raise cows for a living. jamie: clayton runs into a stranger who was prospecting near the bad lands. >> he said this might sell for $500, it was a fragment of bone. >> they were fossils, from giant beasts who lived here eons ago.
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clayton figures if there are that many valuable fossils on the neighbor's land, this must be as many on his. could they help him keep his home on the range. >> i started watching and picking up fragments lear and there and learning more about it. i got excited this stuff is everywhere. jamie: because phipps ranch sitso hell creek mor formation. this was a forest where giant ruled earth, peter larson runs the black hills institute, they prepare foes ill -- fossils for museums and collectors. >> the giant asteroid, 6 miles
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across, crashed into earth, caused extincttion of 70s% of life form on the planet. jamie: he scours the ridges on his land, he finds fragments, buckets full but notion he could sell. -- nothing he could sell, these bones would not put meat on the table. then one day, something in the rocky soil catching his eye. >> there was a t-rex -- laying there. >> this tooth is a result of your inheritance. jamie: a casting of the tooth his first real find in the back room where he prepares specimens for sale, a combination man cave, research library, and trophy room. >> i sold it that night for 2500 dollars, i was back in business.
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jamie: the ranch business. >> we were proud of able to start the herd with something he found that was cool. jamie: cool, sure. but could such prehistoric artifacts be the cash crop they need to help them build up their herd and make the ranch a success? clayton is in, lisa? not so much. >> it was a gamble. my wife is skeptical. >> you sit there and dream of another life? he is not listening. >> it has crossed my mind, i wouldn't give him up for anything but i was nervous. jamie: as months go by with no significant find even clayton begins to have doubts. >> i got to m my site and my
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tractor-trailer tire was flat that was a $500 bill, and i was thinking i don't know if this is what god wants my to do, i was broke. jamie: then, his luck changes, as if by di -- divine intervent. >> it was the coolest school ever. >> our "strange inheritance" quiz question, which is not a real dinosaur?
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>> now the answer to "strange inheritance" quiz question. it is c. jamie: in 2003, cowboy clayton phipps feels that fossil hunting on his montana ranch is a bust, it has been almost a year, but then pay dirt in form of a skull from a 65 million-year-old dinosaur. >> i named it lisa's dragon. >> the most complete skull discovered to date of this particular dinosaur. jamie: under earthing this relic, changes his outlook. >> a thrill of a discovery, you
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are first person to see it, a special feeling, hard to describe until you are in that position. >> amazing. jamie: amazing, wow. real thrill when a collector buys the skull, nets clayton more than $40,000. "strange inheritance" is finally starting to payoff. >> about a year's wages from what i made on the ranch. >> it buys him more time to make his grand plan work. >> i told lisa, i have a year to see if i survive, selling dinosaur fossils. jamie: the phipps family is expanding two boys. two acorns that don't fall far from the tree. by now dad acquired a reputation, and a new nickname, dineo cowboy. professional respect his
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knowledge of dinosaur bones and his ability to find them. >> the only way you can find fossils is with your eyes, only way you do that is get out on foot, and walk the out crops, a guy like clayton can solve problems. >> clayton offers to show a new york gal how it's done, starts with a safety lecture. >> any snakes 1234. >> rattlesnakes, and mountain lions, on the crest of a hill, you could step on a cavity, and fall 30 feet down. you moved dirt you might find one. jamie: what is that? >> a little end of a limb bone to a plant eater. you can see the end. jamie: this is bone. >> most likely a rib. jamie: i can see why they call him dino cowboy, and how you
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could get hooked on fossil hunting, it is the feeling you get picking something out of the dirt, and let's leading it was part -- realizing it was part of a living, breathing bemoth years ago. i am thinking that whole family has some dino radar. >> this looks like a rib. jamie: just the first few minutes clayton's youngest, luke, finds a rib. >> i am having a blast can i keep looking, is it wood? >> that is bone. jamie: i found part of a leg bone. slowly but surely there is a whole dinosaur. >> it came off this hill somewhere. jamie: we found a spot worth looking into. >> for sure. jamie: clayton knows there is dino gold somewhere in these hills. >> highest selling fossil that i know wases there are si dollars.
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>> that was a 42 long t-rex nicknamed sue in chicago's field museum. jamie: you could buy a lot of cattle. >> it would help. jamie: fortunately his reputation is as a man who can find old bones leads an ex pore- experienced fossil hunter to knock on his door. >> i went to his ranch, we were looking for fossils together. jamie: a chapter in this "strange inheritance" story. is about to begin. >> always thinking right over the next ridge or the next patch of bad lands it's going to be there,. jamie: mark's words are pro gettic. >> woo! jamie: next on "strange inheritance." >> another quiz question for you, which came first,
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dinosaurs, sharks or cockroaches? the answer in a moment.
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>> answer to the question question, b, oldest shark fossil is more than 100 million years old, cockroach 350. >> as i listen to clayton phipps tell the story of the ranch left to him by his father, i can't help but think it is not just about the two square miles of montana badland, filled with dinosaur bone but the unexpected
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journey, from struggling rancher to hopeful husband to dad worried about being a good provider to a renowned dino cowboy. he gets a boost when professional fossil hunter mark eatman anythings on his door, they scour the ranch, and parts of the hell creek formation on which it sits, in june 2006, mark scans a rock out cropping and spots facile fragment from a try ser wan tops. a plant eater. it is only about 60 miles from the ranch. but remarkable journey launched by clayton's "strange inheritance" will transport him to a time and place he could
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hardly imagine. after cutting a deal with the land owner who gets a share any of profit, clayton picks away, with a shovel, jackhammer and a backhoe. >> an arm claw in there, a nasty meat hook. jamie: another set of bones intertwined with the triseratops. >> i started brushing away, i saw an arm. and i saw a leg below. and wahoo, sun of a gun, there is -- son of a gun, there was another dinosaur in here. >> i want ballistic with excitement. jamie: a monster discovery, his san daniel, and daughter julie pose to give a sense of the size of two creatures.
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predator and prey, locked in a battle to the death. one a plant-eater, the other, what looks like a young it-rex. -- t-rex, they are called the dueling dinos. >> a fossil dealer said you are the luckiest guy i know. who could go out there with a backhoe and discover that. i guess god was watching out fors that you day. >> one of the most fantastic dinosaur specimens found ever, a few instance we could find a culprit, how did this animal die, what killed it. >> we believe they killed each other. jamie: in battle? how you can tell. >> this model of the dinos. >> teeth from predator embedded in the prey, in pelvis and throat area, i would glove to go
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back that day in time, and see how it unfolded. jamie: cowboy and his family, the dinos could be a life changer. >> my initial thought is they are in value of maybe $10 million. jamie: that is more than chicago's field museum paid for sue. the giant t-rex unearthed in 1990, clayton and his partner, think a multimillion dollar deal that would permit access by both scientists and the public. >> i would like to be able to take my grand kids some day, and say your grand pappy found that dinosaur. >> 7 years pass but no public pb instution bites, in november 2013, clayton moves on to plan b .
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>> an auction company asked if we would like to put it up for
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♪ >> now, back to "strange inheritance." >> november 2013, 16 years since clayton phipps inherited this ranch from his father. ten years since he did you g due money that fueled his reputation as the dinocowboy. and it's seven years until he made the biggest discovere discn history. now they're up for sale in new york. the bidding starts at $3 million. hits $5.5 million. then stops. that may be a fortune to a struggling rancher, but it's far below the 7 million-dollar
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reserve price that by clayton and his partners. the result, no sale. unlike the folks who cashed in on the world famous t-rex tooth, clayton walks away empty-handed. >> i hope i'm not out of line expecting to get paid what we went into it. >> clayton believes he will eventually get that and more. >> we all feel the fall of the economy hampered things for sure. >> so back on the range, he continues to raise cattle, search for fossils and tinker in his lab waiting for his big find to pay off. if one day however those dueling dinos unearthed make him rich, i'm betting the path of clayton's life still circles back to this piece of montana. >> i'm living the dream.
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and because i can stay outside and have the thrill of discovery, the dinosaur fits into that perfectly. it's my hope that i can do this for as long as i'm able to do it. >> those dueling dinosaurs are now part of a pretty fierce fight among modern day paleontologists. there are on some who think the small and vicious predator is simply a young tyrannosaurus. there are others who think he unearthed a specimen of a newly discovered species. a nanotran yaws. it was 8 feet tall. 30 feet long. there's no dino that would have wanted to meet the likes of that in the ring. i'm jamie colby. thanks for joining us on "strange inheritance." remember, you can't take it with you.
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do you have a "strange inheritance" story you'd like to share with us? we'd love to hear it! send me an email or go to our website, "strange week. "strange inheritance" starts n now. >> a farmer with a unusual hobby, a huge collection. >> anybody that collects 150 tractors, buzz that make youic centric? >> he spent a lifetime and a pretty penny amassing it. jamie: a treasure trove of valuable americana or a heard of white elephants. >> dad, you are running out of room. where are you going to put them all


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